The feeblest of suns...
It's the beginning of June - the month with the feeblest of suns, the month of morning frosts and southerly storms - maybe even snow!
Wednesday June 1st
What should I do in this the first June week? How responsible do I have to be? For example I could do all or some of the following:
First June List
- Order in a stack of new roses.
- Return to the Daffodil Farm and buy some large mixed bags.
- Choose some tulips.
- Buy in some new trees.
- Buy a new green winter gardening shirt.
The list goes on. It's a dizzy winter garden spending spree list, needing energy and money.
Aralia in Flower
Winter Clean-Up Needed
What the Moosey garden really needs this month is a huge winter clean-up, some sensible decisions made about blocked paths and overcrowding, some heavy duty clearing behind the pond, the burning of rubbish, the rationalising of compost heaps, the pruning of shrubs and the collecting of firewood and pinecones... Blast!
This morning I should have lots of energy and gardening drive (I don't have very much gardening money, but that shouldn't be necessary). However I am peering outside at general dampness, and waiting for the sun to move a little higher in the sky. A second hot cup of tea might inspire me.
Thursday 2nd June
Oops. I didn't do any gardening. Nor will I today. But I have done some garden money spending! I have bought three budget bare root roses (a Peace hybrid tea, which I don't have, and two Black Beauty floribundas replacing last year's pair which were successful i.e. they died). I have bought three pairs of lovely gardening gloves and three pairs of cheap (and thus guiltlessly 'losable') secateurs, and two big bags of budget potting mix to ensure immediate health of the new roses.
It's nearly mid-day and I have the log-burner going - hurray for Moosey firewood! I am about to sit quietly, surrounded by cats and puppy, and drool over the summer pictures in my latest RHS garden magazine (The Garden). Which reminds me...
Public Apology to the London Moosey Team
I have been rather rude to the London Mooseys lately - it's purely a case of warm weather envy! I honestly am looking forward to seeing their Chelsea Flower Show photographs and reading their Chelsea stories. Honestly! And to help my Australian gardener friends celebrate their gold medal success I have even included my own winter photograph of green and gold foliage - see below! Brrr it's cold!
Green and Gold Foliage
Only three weeks to the winter solstice now!
Saturday 4th June
Yippee! It's the start of a three day weekend - I have new bare root roses to pot up (hee hee - only three budget-priced ones so far), and more leaves to rake and bag. I am full of energy and hot tea. As soon as I've organised (there's that word again!) the log-burner I will wander outside through the drizzling garden (no complaints!) to the glass-house, and do some serious work in there.
In the Bag
The Moosey House Guest (who is now living and sleeping in his down jacket) is 'quite enjoying a real winter' - he says Sydney doesn't really have one. I don't like to tell him that it hasn't actually got cold enough yet - July is much worse!
Moosey Animal Farm Report
Rooster has officially abandoned us, with white hen, brown hen and little Hamlet the henlet. They sound very far away - sometimes I hear a faint warbling crow, when the wind isn't blowing. So the Moosey Animal Farm is chookless - and duckless, thanks to a bouncing bird-chasing puppy dog. I liked little Hamlet - you could stroke her feathers when she was eating her grain. Rooster was random, but fun - I miss him peering in through the glass doors at me in the early mornings.
Puppy is getting very bouncy, bity, boisterous and bored indoors in the wet weather. We do puppy school walks with the umbrella, and he does his own zooming circuits around the house gardens, but he fidgets inside all evening when the fire is going. Unlike the cats, who totally understand how to maximise the snooze potential of a log burner. Mind you, puppy is really furry and hairy with a really long winter dog-coat...
Right. Enough. Time to go to the glass-house.
Later - Lunchtime...
The gloom of June continues - all I've done is pot up the new roses, some variegated apple mint, and some Stachys. Then puppy and I went for a long walk with the umbrella (puppy turned a medium orange colour in the rain). Now it's time for some serious long-term spring and summer garden planning. I think I might look at each garden area by name - like in the Moosey Garden Tour - and write up some lists for improvements, shiftings, expansions, replantings, and the like. This should keep me going until Christmas!
Sunday 5th June
A typical winter weekend morning - good morning to Stumpy the cat, sitting on my lap again as I write. I've just fed the Moosey House Guest's steak to Smoocher the kitten - oops. Puppy is snuffling around outside with yesterday's beef bone. There's no frost. It's really silent - Moosey mornings are sadly crow-free since rooster's defection, and even the birds are subdued.
Bergenias in the Driveway Border
Winter gardening can be quite a gentle, reflective process - lacking the sharp cut-and-thrust of summer. Even doing an hour's work in the glass-house seems to have substance - it would be very easy to do no gardening at all, with perfectly rational justification. Too wet, too cold, too damp, too muddy, too frosty - too dark!
Winter Blooming Roses
The Moosey Way...
But that is not the Moosey way! Ha! I have plans. Today I am prepared to get muddy. I want to do some weeding in the house gardens, then lay newspaper under the mulch in parts of the new Birthday Rose Garden. A little digging extension might be nice - apparently an Almond tree has been ordered to plant in here.
The Dog Kennel Garden also needs weeding and organising, and I need to do this before the frosts (the Dog Kennel garden is possibly the only part of the Moosey garden which can stay frosted all day). A list will not be required.
It's getting dark. I have done heaps of gardening - we got some stones from the river, and I've removed all the firewood edges from the gardens over the water race. I've weeded, laid newspaper mulch, dug out dandelions, raked leaves, bagged leaves, stacked wood... I've expanded the Birthday Rose Garden - just a little digging today. I am now planning heaps of new roses which I will purchase this winter to fit in the new space. Yippee! A gardening reward!
Monday 6th June
My nursery's rose list is really disappointing - it's full of hybrid teas, which I tend not to buy (my pruning and spraying regimes are respectively haphazard and non-existent). A terribly technologically forward idea - perhaps I could find an on-line catalogue! Or re-read my Peter Beales Rose catalogue for 1996 (English, purchased proudly in England when I was last there) which offers (for example) more rugosa roses than I ever thought lived and breathed. Blast! An inspiring and current rose catalogue would make me a much happier mud-digger.
- Dandelion Flower :
- The prettiest of weed-flowers - this is a dandelion.
I don't see why there are so many weeds in the Moosey winter garden. I am sick of bending over to pull them out. I am sick of kneeling in the mud. There are so many dandelions with their long thin taproots to dig out. It's very wet to be weeding. I'm probably being silly washing my cheap cotton gardening gloves. A weedathon is needed, even a superficial one would help. OK - The feeble winter sun is shining. I am thermally clad, feeling brave and ready to get muddy. I have already drunk three cups of tea! I am off!
It's mid-afternoon and that feeble winter sun has almost dropped out of sight. I am back. I've dug and weeded, shifted a variegated Hebe, expanded the new rose garden, and taken some Penstemon cuttings (maybe this is completely the wrong time of year - we'll see). Winter gardening is annoying in its limitations - today the wind is really cold (moan, moan, moan) and I have sore hands (moan, moan, moan). Humph.